1st Edition

Leadership in Planning How to Communicate Ideas and Effect Positive Change

By Jeff Levine Copyright 2021
    190 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Being an effective city planner means being an effective leader. You need to be prepared to convince people that good planning matters. Often a well-written, thoughtful and inclusive plan doesn’t result in meaningful action, because planners don’t show leadership skills. At some point, some city planners become cynical and worn down, wondering why no one listens to them but not doing the self-reflection about how that could change.

    Leadership in Planning explains how to get support for planning initiatives so they don’t just fade from memory. It will guide city planners to think less about organizational charts and more about:

    · being a respected voice within your organization, both with staff and with your boss;

    · being a good communicator with people outside your organization; and

    · being able to understand how and when to push for good planning ideas to turn them into actions.

    Along the way, case studies bring these concepts to the real world of municipal planning. In addition, past planning figures’ actions are explored to see what they did right and what mistakes they made.

    Introduction. Chapter 1: Leading is Complicated. Chapter 2: Why Do You Want to Lead Anyway? Chapter 3: Leading Your Office. Chapter 4: Managing Up. Chapter 5: Leading Public Opinion. Chapter 6: Leading by Listening. Chapter 7: "Facilitative Leadership". Chapter 8: Strategic Planning and Leadership. Chapter 9: Five Steps to Leadership. Conclusion: Combing a Giant Hairball.


    Jeff Levine, AICP, works to make better communities. After 25 years as a planner in local government in New England, including 15 years as a planning director, he now trains the next generation of planners as a faculty member in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also consults with public agencies and developers on urban planning and development issues.

    "Jeff Levine sets the stage with his 'leading is a dance' and shows us the difference between planning leadership, planning management, and strategic planning. He explores what planning leadership means, what success looks like, and the importance of vision, risk taking and advocacy balanced with listing, inclusion and respect for communities. Jeff’s learning the lessons from past planning should be required reading for emerging planners and planning theory classes. His simple graphics help tell his story, and will probably be stolen for various PowerPoint presentations."

    Wayne Feiden, FAICP, Director Planning & Sustainability, City of Northampton, Massachusetts